A white bowl filled with a golden-coloured curry and white fluffy rice, scattered with coriander on a grey stone background

Kolamba’s parippu (lentil curry)

  • serves 2 or 4 as a side
  • Easy

The co-founder of Kolamba in London’s Soho shares this recipe with us from the restaurant's kitchen. A lentil curry spiced with mustard seeds, chilli powder, curry leaves and cinnamon, with layers of delicate flavour


Try this lentil curry, then check out Kolamba’s jackfruit curry, Sri Lankan chicken curry, green beans with coconut and more Sri Lankan-style recipes.

Read our review of Kolamba restaurant here.



  • masoor dahl (red split lentils) 150g
  • vegetable oil 1 tsp
  • black mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • red onion ½ small
  • curry leaves 6-8, fresh, frozen or dried
  • hot chilli powder ½ tsp
  • Sri Lankan curry powder 1 tsp (or you can use 1 tsp ground coriander powder and ½ tsp ground cumin)
  • ground turmeric ¼ tsp
  • cinnamon stick 5cm
  • coconut milk 125ml
  • fried onions, fried garlic, fried curry leaves and fried chillies to garnish


  • Step 1

    Wash the lentils. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and, when it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and let them start to pop. Add the onion and curry leaves, and mix in. Add the chilli powder, curry powder and turmeric, stir and cook for 5-10 seconds. Add the cinnamon stick and a pinch of salt. Mix to coat with the spices. Cook for about 3 minutes until fragrant.

  • Step 2

    Add the drained lentils to the pan with 250ml of water, partially cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and ¾ tsp of fine sea salt, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

  • Step 3

    Finish the lentils with fried onions, garlic, curry leaves and chillies, if you like.

Discover more easy Sri Lankan-inspired recipes

Sri Lankan cashew and potato curry

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 225
  • Fat 6.9g
  • Saturates 4.6g
  • Carbs 26.5g
  • Sugars 2.2g
  • Fibre 4.4g
  • Protein 12g
  • Salt 1g